Makes Me Think

I subscribe to a blog called “Makes Me Think” – sometimes I wonder if people are just making stuff up but it is an interesting and sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heart-wrenching but quick read.  This was on there today and it bothered me.

” Today, when I told them the truth, my parents stopped loving me for being me.”  ~ by lost

The comments section just did not seem the place to respond to this but I am betting that many kids have felt this way and I simply wanted to respond as a parent.   So here it goes:

Dear “lost”,

I am so sorry you feel that way.  I can only imagine your pain.  As a parent, I would like to give a possible explanation of what you may have perceived as an end to your parents love.  It could simply be that they are mourning a loss.   You said that “when I told them the truth” which means that until that moment they had been experiencing something that was not true.  Maybe, an image of their child that was false?  So, in that moment of truth…they experienced a loss.  They need some time to grieve that loss.  When you exposed your truth, you likely were seeking acceptance.  I ask you to give them time.  Acceptance does not mean that they have to understand, agree with or celebrate your truth.  It means that it is not their responsibility to decide upon it.  Now they may need some time to get there and are now trying to sort through what the “truth” is.  You did not decide overnight to expose your truth, you likely took time to decide. Allow them THEIR time to absorb it.  I would like to share with you something that I have had to say to my own child when I have reacted poorly to something:

“Just remember that I am human too, and I mess up.  I react to my emotions.  My reactions do not determine your value and worth nor are they a measurement for my love for you.”

Inaction. Really?

You know, sometimes it just sucks being human.  So limited in our abilities compared to the One we were made to be the image of and yet we attempt to make ourselves responsible for things beyond our limitations.   (Can you tell that I am talking about myself yet?)

It is funny when you discover your weaknesses.  I found that I am capable of handling many things and I don’t generally take criticism as anything more than constructive and rarely do I take things personally.  However, in the face of the possibility that I have CAUSED stress or hurt…IT WRECKS ME.

I think it funny that I am in the middle of two things at church, a series called How To Wreck Your Life and a spiritual growth group based on a book The Me I Want To Be.   I have learned that I have what is called a Spiritual Inhibitor and mine apparently is INACTION.  I was not seeing it and neither did anyone I asked.  So I was trying to see where that plays out in my life and asked God to show me.  I realized that deep down, I know that it is a part of me and I actually OVERCOMPENSATE by actually RUSHING to action for fear of not acting.  I don’t like having weaknesses.  I tend to try to flip them.  Sometimes this does not turn out very well.  In speech or in action.  When pressed, I might just rush THROUGH something that I should have taken more time THINKING about for fear of overthinking it and then become unsure and then ignore it and do nothing.

Sometimes an immediate response may not necessarily be the best one.  I know that my intentions are good, but my actions or words don’t match them.

Then, I beat myself up about it.

I am growing here people, I am growing.  Apparently when I asked God to show me where my “spritual inhibitor” played out in my life…he provided a week in which I had to deal with it a couple of times.  YAY ME!

Dear God,

I think I have learned what you wanted me to see.  Thank you for answering my prayer.  Would it be possible to end the lesson here?

In Jesus name, Amen!

the jerk

I am starting to wonder how much the devil listens to the “little details” of our lives.

During the planning of a large event here at the church, I felt like the lives of we women playing significant roles in pulling off this event were either under attack or being over taxed. I won’t get into those details here…don’t want the jerk (that is what I call, Satan, Lucifer, the devil…whatever…I call him the jerk – no capital letters.) reveling in any glory.

However, I will share this, since I am the only one this is affecting. The other day my husband was talking about an issue I have with one of my elbows and I told him that it has not been bothering me in the way that it had in the past. It used to hurt really bad after I had been sleeping and then just ache, all the time and if I used it for anything it went from ache to PAIN. Well, for a few months, I had not felt that pain after waking or the ache unless I really overused it, and I had learned how to use it to a certain point and then let it rest.

Well, let me tell you, no sooner had I said those words…the next evening I awoke from a little early evening nap with my elbow in excruciatingly familiar pain and since then…the old ache is back and it makes me wonder…

the jerk

Just venting.

1 Peter 5: 8-11 (Message) Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.

This was said about me on Facebook:

“Cant stand “church going “, hypocritical people who judge those before they know them!! Remember god does not judge so neither should you!!!”

Why does this bother me?
I think it is because, I feel like I make Christ followers look bad to this person…and in turn to all this person’s friends on Facebook.
Which in turn, is a poor reflection on Christ. (and He obviously had nothing to do with THIS!)

I know this person is lashing out at me, but it made me evaluate my action or statement that caused this person’s reaction. First, it had nothing to do with the person who made the comment, this person’s outrage is on behalf of someone else and is part of a long line of miscommunication that I went to the source that same day and sorted out. Second, no, we as human beings are not to judge someones heart or character. That is the job of God alone. However, as human beings we are allowed to judge behaviors and to have opinions. Without that, there would be pedophiles, rapist, murders, and thieves running about willy nilly as well as generation upon generation of unruly and undisciplined children.

On top of that, “the best predictor of future behavior, is past behavior”

And so in the wake of a very trying couple of weeks I find this just exhausting.

People are having a hard time accepting that I am a Christ follower.
Maybe they CAN accept that but seem to think that now that I follow Christ that I am no longer supposed to act like a human being.

I am not perfect.
I still cuss (GASP!)
I still have fears
I still drink (FOR SHAME!)
…I did quit smoking…but that was for purely selfish reasons…like wanting to live longer.

I am sure there are a plethora of things that I still do that are not Christ-like…

…but I am not Christ.

I am human…and as such, throughout my day I find myself turning to God in a constantly ongoing conversation where I ask his opinion and …don’t hear an answer right away…or ask forgiveness (and receive it) for a comment or even a thought that was just inappropriate, or an action that I should not have done, or for hesitating when He presents me an opportunity to further His kingdom and it turns into an opportunity lost. However, this relationship I have with Him, also fuels me to get over myself and do what I can when I feel it is what He wants me to do. Learning to tell the difference between what He wants and what I think He wants…that can be a challenge but it takes an investment of time to learn the intricate and quiet language that he uses to reach each of us in our own unique ways. I am investing in that. For the record, I feel that even after 5 or 6 years now, I am still in freshman classes….first semester.

My love for Him, and His for me has opened up this line of constant communication that I cannot imagine my life without. It has brought about me a sense of peace that is almost always present but there is still a part of me that gets riled up when I begin to feel persecuted…such as the comment made above. It usually happens when my past collides with my present. There is a lot more history behind that comment than the comment alone. I have to remember that.

The God sighting in all of this was a comment made back to that person on Facebook:

“God does judge, but he and he alone has that responsibility.I love the Lord, and so I love people too.God said ” love thy neighbor as you love yourself”. I hope this helps you…. I don’t know what you are dealing with , but know that you don’t have to worry about what people think about you, but what God knows about you.”

Breanna Droppings or The Perils of Sharing a Work Place With Your Child

Some of you may know that my oldest child, Breanna is now on staff at Granger Community Church. She is on the Facility Care team and is typically in the building long after I have left. The following photos are what I have lovingly termed “Breanna Droppings”

On the center of my desk there was this post it note:

Then there were these other sticky notes:
(my monitor has a face now)

The people in my artwork now have a voice… “Oooh” “Ahhh” “What pretty colors”

Yoda is apparently going mad with the power of The Force and “Livin’ la Vida YODA!”

Then, my favorite…hidden on my pen tablet…a little love from the offspring.

So fun to find these.

I love them!

Clouded judgement

In a conversation regarding a conversation regarding a conversation, a wise counselor (person 1) spoke about how she pointed out that the person she was speaking to (person 2) did not hear or acknowledge the other persons (person 3) pain in a conversation that she (person 2) had with that person (person 3). It was a profound moment for me.

That person (person 2) had just shared the same conversation with me and I had agreed with her perspective…I did not feed it, but I felt that she had done a good job in handling the situation. I forgot that there were TWO people involved. TWO people that I cared about. TWO people that God loves and I was not thinking of that other person’s (person 3) pain either because I had not been in proximity to their pain.

I have been trying very hard to be neutral and available to both of these people because they are both my friend, but when it came down to it, because person 2 had been sharing more of her pain and struggle with me than person 3 (who has not contacted me in sometime other than to forward a silly text) my judgment had become clouded and I forgot how much he matters and rather than providing her (person 2) with a suggestion that would soften her heart and even segue toward forgiveness, I gave her kudos for recognizing her boundary issues.

Imagine my palm slapping my forehead.

Running Update…

Well dear readers, bad news… I am not running.  But wait, it is not because I lack the willpower or ambition.  It is because I am an idiot!

You see, I know that I have joint issues but I attempted to defy all of my impairments.  So, during my second week of jogging when I increased my jogging sprints from 60 to 90 seconds – my knees were less than pleased.  I did decide on week three to take it back to 60 seconds but the damage was done and so I gave myself 2 weeks to heal before I took it up with my doctor and now…well, simply walking or even sitting with my knees attached to my body causes sporadic pain.  So, I quit.  Yep, I am a quitter.  
That being said, I discussed it briefly with my orthopedic surgeon who basically looked at me and said “Some of us just can’t jog.”    That is his professional advice.  So, because I still want to do something I am pondering an elliptical.  
My budget is very limited right now.  I have exactly $0 to spend on one.  If anyone is giving away an elliptical… will it fit in my minivan?

Bad days.

So, I have not had a seriously bad day in a really long time. I actually forgot what it was like to have one of those days when one thing happens and another thing follows and another little bad thing and then just something that you expected but hate happens on top of it. Well yesterday was that day. Details will not really be following. We all have those days in our life but I am writing because really, I have been blessed and it has been a while.

Every few minutes when I am dealing with the details of say…the auto accident Breanna had yesterday…I am reminded of the bad day and I have to say…God…just get me through this. Just get me through this one moment. I feel like I am saying it alot today. Every once in awhile I think my life really SUCKS but then you know what…it doesn’t. I am just emotionally at a place where I am a bit on edge so it amplifies everything I experience. I just have to keep talking to God. I know he won’t give me more than I can handle.

I will say that in the midst of it all, it was great being able to spend 90 minutes with a group of ladies that I love, who let me share and made me laugh. We need to have those friends who will lift you up when you feel down. God never intended for us to go through life alone.